Friday, July 28, 2017

Clean Air Comment Period

By Karen Robes Meeks

The nation’s two busiest seaports have released their latest vision for cleaner air and the public will have a chance to comment on it.

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have put out an updated draft of their joint 2017 Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP), a blueprint of short- and long-term strategies for air pollution reduction from port operations, at an estimated cost of up to $14 billion.

The plan calls for:

• Expanding on-dock rail so that half of all inbound cargo leaving the ports will be moved by rail;

• Implementing clean engine standards that will help transition trucks into a zero- emissions drayage fleet by 2035;

• Creating a universal truck appointment system to shrink turn times;

• Creating infrastructure plans that push for the electrification of terminal equipment, alternative fuels and other energy uses.

The plan’s new clean air goals aims at lowering greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050.

The update CAAP also carries over the previously established 2023 targets for curbing pollutants below 2005, which included lowering diesel particulate matter by 77 percent, sulfur oxides by 93 percent, and nitrogen oxides by 59 percent. The latest measurements show that Los Angeles and Long Beach have either surpassed or are in striking distance of the 2023 goals, the ports reported.

Los Angeles and Long Beach Harbor commissioners are expected to jointly vote on a final version in November.

“These ports are going where no port has gone before,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “Based on what we’ve already accomplished to promote healthy, robust trade through our gateway, we’re ready to make history again, looking at a new array of technologies and strategies to further lower port-related emissions in the decades ahead.”

The ports remain committed to leading in seaport sustainability, said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero.

“Working closely with all our partners has been crucial to our success. That same collaboration went into the development of the 2017 CAAP and will be indispensable going forward,” he said. “Since 2006, the Clean Air Action Plan has been a model for programs to reduce health risks and air quality impacts from port operations worldwide.”

The public can weigh in until 5 p.m. on September 28 by submitting written comments to Alternatively, opinions can be shared during the August 30 workshop hosted by both ports at 5 p.m. on at Banning’s Landing Community Center, 100 Water St. in Wilmington. To view the update, visit